A number of questions have arisen regarding how foreign tourists’ immunity certificates will be recognized in Hungary in the least confusing way possible. According to Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás, the bilateral agreements Hungary concluded with specific countries will solve the issue.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has announced the completion of bilateral travel agreements between Hungary and countries such as Mongolia, Georgia, Romania, Czechia, Bahrein, Croatia, Turkey, Slovenia, and Montenegro. While this is a step closer to tourism, it does not necessarily mean that Hungarians with immunity certificates can travel to any of these countries.
In the government’s most recent press conference, Gergely Gulyás was asked how vaccinated foreigners travelling to Hungary with their countries’ immunity certificates will be able to access immunity certificate benefits in Hungary.
The minister responded that the bilateral agreements Hungary made with specific countries will allow their immunity certificates to be recognized like Hungarian immunity certificates, allowing them to stay in hotels and access restaurants and various services.
While it sounds simple, it raises the question of how well Hungarian institutions will be able to decipher multiple different types of immunity certificates, potentially with different languages and, in some cases, different identifying characteristics that prove their validity.
There may also be other complications, such as Hungary’s National eHealth Infrastructure (EESZT) application which shows whether someone has had their second inoculation and when. The immunity card itself only shows one’s first vaccination, and in order to travel to countries such as Croatia, this is not sufficient.
There have been a number of problems with the EESZT online application, and it is difficult to believe that travel and tourism will go smoothly with the patchwork of different documents, certificates, and mobile applications from multiple countries.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI